Stomach contents of long‐finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas, mass‐stranded on Farewell Spit, Golden Bay in 2005 and 2008

E. L. Beatson*, S. O’shea

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

New data are reported on the diet of the long‐finned pilot whale, Globicephala melas, based on stomach contents recovered from whales involved in a mass stranding on Farewell Spit, Golden Bay, South Island, on 23 January 2008. The stomachs of 11 whales were examined, from which identifiable prey remains were recovered from six, four females and two males (3.1–5.4 m in length). Prey remains comprised exclusively cephalopod beaks (1–46 beaks per whale), attributed to two genera in two orders: arrow squid, Nototodarus spp. (Teuthoidea: Ommastrephidae), and common octopus, Pinnoctopus cordiformis (Octopoda: Octopodidae). The stomachs of eight whales were infested with parasitic nematodes, with two ulcerated; the stomachs of five whales did not contain any prey remains. These data complement and are comparable to the only other information available for this species from this region, reported from whales mass‐stranded at this same location in December 2005. Lower beak rostral length versus mantle length and biomass regression equations for Nototodarus spp. are reviewed, highlighting the importance of the use of species‐specific regression equations for reconstructing both cephalopod mantle length and biomass from lower beak remains in dietary studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-58
Number of pages12
JournalNew Zealand Journal of Zoology
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cephalopoda
  • Diet
  • Farewell Spit
  • Globicephala melas
  • Long‐finned pilot whale
  • Mass stranding
  • New Zealand
  • Nototodarus

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